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We had a deck removed recently and had sod put in about 10 days ago. The problem is the soil was not leveled prior to the sod being added and now the new lawn is taller than the rest of the lawn. I tried removing the sod by hand, but with all the water and rain it is already stuck to the ground.

We have St. Augustine sod/grass and the area which I am trying to fix is mostly sunny. We live in Texas.

How would I go about leveling the area? If it is possible I would like to save and reuse the same sod/new lawn.

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  • A picture of the area would be very helpful – JStorage Apr 14 '16 at 23:45
  • Welcome! Yup, a picture will help us see what you're seeing. Also, what's your climate like? Is that area in sun or shade? You can press the gray "edit" word or this edit and add the information. Check out our help center, especially the How to Ask page, to get to know our system! We're glad you found us, and look forward to working together to fix your lawn! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Apr 15 '16 at 0:08
  • This looks like sod with all the straight edges. Did you recently sod this area? I'd use a sod cutter, do not till, rake, grade, make sure you have drainage (2%) slope to an area YOU decide, and ROLL with a roller you fill with water. You do not want a fluffy bed for grass. What is your maintenance program? That is the main thing. Do you know how to care for a lawn so that this doesn't happen again! How much of your lawn looks like this, where do you live, how short do you mow, what is your watering schedule, fertilizer, aeration...??? – stormy Apr 17 '16 at 1:28
  • Thank you for the reply stormy. Yes we did recently sod the area after removing a deck. We are happy with the rest of the lawn as it does not look like this. – Maya Apr 17 '16 at 21:06
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I think you should go ahead and fix it now. Your sod is trying to grow into the ground, which is why it's stuck, but I think it's one of those things where you'll regret it if you don't fix it. Even if you damage the grass and loose some, at least you won't have a bunch of time and energy into it.

It doesn't look like a big area. Just take a square-nosed shovel and have someone lift it while you scoot the edge under the sod. You'll be cutting the roots attaching it to the ground. However, it still has plenty of good roots in the sod's soil. Roll it up if it came that way or set it to the side if it was in squares.

Hose it down so the roots don't dry out while you're leveling. The level your ground and get it back down as soon as possible. I would probably rent a tiller if you don't have one and run over the whole area to loosen the soil. Maybe amend it with some organics if you don't naturally have them in your yard. Then level your area off.

It's a little bit of a guessing game at this point. You need to the dirt the sod will be placed on, lower than the surrounding soil to compensate for the thickness of the sod. However, after you've 'fluffed' it up with the tiller, it's going to settle some. It'll have a lot to do with the type of soil you have as to how much it'll compact. I'd probably try to press it down to get most of the settling out of it. The soil will still be plenty loose, but I'd walk on it or throw a piece of plywood down and run over it with the mower a few times. You can probably just run your mower over the area period.

I'd also opt for a little low versus a little high, because you can always add a thin layer of compost over the top every year and the grass will grow up through it. You can eventually get it perfectly level that way. Good luck.

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    Thank you Dalton! I do like the idea of low versus high. The picture doesn't show the entire area, only a portion as I wanted to show the transition part. Between your answer and stormy's I now know what I need to do! Much appreciate your help! – Maya Apr 17 '16 at 21:10

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